How to Drill Hole for Door Strike Plate to Install It

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When you are planning a renovation at your place, most probably the easiest but still prominent enough change to include is a lockset replacement. Or maybe changing the whole door. In both cases, you must pay attention to the door strike plate installation part.

Learning how to drill hole for door strike plate and following up the process with proper installation to end up with a beautiful-looking front door that has a new lockset is what I’m willing to help you on. 

Don’t worry, you’ll be able to do it all by yourself, just bear till the very end to be aware of all crucial parts of a door strike plate installation.

Complete Guide on How to Install Strike Plate on Door Frame All by Yourself

A strike plate basically is the main component that is in charge of working with a lock and keeping your front door secure. Most door frames have a recessed precut for the strike plate. 

However, if there’s not one, you basically use some woodworking skills as well as a few easy-to-access tools to create that cut. That’s the major part of this piece of writing, but it’ll lead towards the entire installation as well. The task should not take more than a couple of hours. Keep on reading…

Understanding The Anatomy.

Before you actually learn how to install strike plate on door frame and finish the installation of a lockset, it’s important to understand a bit about the internal components. Not to mention the variables that play a crucial role in such installation. 

The first and foremost one is the knob height from finish floor. And then comes the measurement between door’s close edge and knob center. Basically, called backset.  The first variable usually stays between 36 to 38 inches. You can refer to other doors of your house to keep things matching.

The backset, on the other hand, should be around 2.75 inches for exterior doors and 2.375 inches in case of interior doors. The face bore center is that point where backset and knob height intersect. And this is where you need to create a circular hole for entering the lockset.

Then comes the second hole for latch assembly called edge bore. Many locksets will include a template made of cardboard to keep both bores aligned. You should choose the drill bits according to the template provided diameters.

Now that you have some basic idea, shall we continue to cut strike plate hole and installing the plate?

Drill Hole for Door Strike Plate3

Take The Measurements & Make Necessary Marks.

You want to keep the door halfway open. And then tap on one shim from each side so that it can stay steady. Take the measurement of knob height and mark it on the edge of the door. Then use a square to extend the mark. It should go across the edge of the door and onto one face’s 3 inches.

Place the template on the door edge and make sure it aligns well. Right through the template face bore’s center, punch an awl or nail to mark it down on the door. You want to apply the same method for marking the edge bore’s center on door. Once you are done, get rid of the template and keep it aside.

Face Bore & Edge Bore Drilling.

Right onto the mark of face bore, you want to put the pilot bit of hole saw and create a pilot hole. As soon as the teeth of saw contact the surface of door, you can stop. All of the teeth need to be in contact uniformly here. And only then you can go ahead with drilling the bore. Keeping the sawdust cleared from the cut is also very important. So, make sure you occasionally remove the hole saw for that.

Once you notice the pilot bit’s tip is breaking through, stop. Now move onto the opposite side of your door. The previously made pilot hole will be your template for aligning the hole saw. Drill the face bore using that.

Then you want to get a 7/8-inch spade bit. Place the tip right on the mark of edge bore. Use the medium speed of your dill to make a cut through the door edge. And stop once the bit’s tip shows through face bore. You don’t want to apply too much pressure with the drill. Or else there’s a chance of tearing the wood more than necessary. Be careful and continue to finish the edge bore drilling.

Scribing The Plate to Cut Hole with Chisel.

In this step, you want to place the latch assembly within edge bore. The bevel of latch should be facing towards the doorjamb. Get a utility knife, and start outlining the rectangular latch. Once you are complete, get the assembly out and place it somewhere safe.

Now to cut the latch, get a chisel. You want to make a deep cut along with outline because the plate is quite thick. Follow the same depth for chiseling between bottom and top of the outline that you just created. 

You want to do this for every 1/8 inch. Get all the waste out by making the bevel side of chiseled face down. Start from the middle out. When you place the plate into mortise, it should be sitting flush with the door edge.

Drill Hole for Door Strike Plate2

Attach The Latch Assembly.

Get the latch assembly inside once again for making the holes in mortise where the screws will go. Once you make the marks keep assembly aside. Then get a 3/32-inch bit and make two pilot holes using your drill. 

You can finally put the assembly and tighten the screw to install it. through the face bore and latch assembly spindle, gently let outer knob slide in. Next work with the interior knob. For the mounting screws, hand screwing is the best technique. Once they seem firm enough, you can use a screwdriver to perfectly tighten them.

Strike Plate Mortise & Installation.

Similar to how you mortise a door latch plate, next work on the strike plate. The latch needs to touch doorjamb’s edge. So, close the door until it does. Right on the midpoint of latch, mark the jamb next. You need a square after that. Use it for extending the mark so that it reaches across doorstop’s jamb. And then make a mark on the line’s midpoint.

Then you need a 7/8-inch spade bit. So that you can create two deep holes that are 5/8 inches. These two holes need to be overlapping partially. And also, they need to be centering below and above midpoint, basically the inset. You can use a chisel here if necessary to square the mortise sides.

Use a utility knife, and create the strike plate outline into mortise. Then use quite the similar technique explained in the previous two steps. Make a mortise using the chisel that follows same depth as the strike plate’s thickness. Then use a 3/32-inch bit and create the two pilot holes with your drill. And then simply attach the plate with two screws.

If you end up making a mistake and create the mortise a bit too deep, bring a cardboard shim. Cut it down and use it for simply getting the plate’s face flush better with the door edge.

Wrap Up

That’s how to drill hole for door strike plate and complete the installation. Keeping the lock secure to the door is an important job that your strike plate is in charge of. And not attaching it properly with deep enough holes that have tightened screws can be a very basic mistake that leads to bigger problems later on. 

Make sure you take your time to understand the strike plate and then start with the installation. Hopefully, things won’t be hard for you, Good Luck!

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